Just in time for tomorrow’s Windows 7 launch, HP’s third-gen Windows Home Server boxes touch down – starting with a nimble 1TB Atom system for $599.
It’s been two years since HP’s first Windows Home Server system made its US debut, but HP reckons the time is now right to start selling these little black boxes in Australia.
Broadband uptake, the boom in digital media, the popularity of home networks and especially notebooks and netbooks have all created the right environment for home servers to strut their stuff, says HP.
So two of HP’s latest Windows Home Server systems will take pride of place during tomorrow’s Australian launch of Windows 7.
HP has opted to bring in the low-end LX-197 ($599) and the mid-range EX-490 ($899) as its Aussie entree.
The former is a super-compact box – codenamed Boxster, in fact, after Porsche’s peppy roadster – sporting Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor. and 1GB of RAM.
The Atom is nimble enough to run WHS for relatively ‘simple’ server and networking tasks such as file and printer sharing, backup, serving photos over the Web and streaming audio through the inbuilt iTunes Server.
The LX-197 is a mini-monolith home server running a 1.6GHz Atom processor with 1TB of internal storage
Hard disk capacity is fixed at 1TB, as there are no spare drive bays – expandability beyond this relies on adding external USB hard drives.
The EX-490 also packs 1TB of storage but had three spare drive bays, and is powered by a 2.2GHz single-core Celeron processor with 2GB of RAM. Additional software includes a video convertor capable of transcoding server-resident video to suit different target devices.
The EX-490 follows the now-familiar shape of HP's other MediaSmart Windows Home Server boxes
In addition to playing nicely with Windows 7, including support for HomeGroup networking and Libraries, both systems support Mac OS X as Time Machine backup drives and provide direct access to the Windows Home Server console through a bundled remote desktop client.
HP’s Media Collector – which helps consolidate multimedia content into a single server-resident library – can also handle iTunes and iPhoto content.